$12,000+ spent in Greenville-Eureka lawsuit so far

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 9:01 pm on Friday, September 20, 2013

More than $12,000 has been spent to date in an ongoing lawsuit between the city of Greenville and Eureka Township regarding a dispute over a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Eureka Township has spent $7,952.80 in legal fees while Greenville has spent $4,775 in legal fees from last December through the end of this August for a total of $12,737.80 for both municipalities.

The lawsuit stems from a FOIA request Greenville City Manager George Bosanic made to Eureka Township in September 2012, asking that the township provide public records relating to grinder pumps and a forced sewer main constructed near Baldwin Lake.

The lake is partially in Eureka Township and partially in Greenville.

Bosanic filed a lawsuit against Eureka Township in December 2012, saying the township dragged its feet in providing the information and failed to meet FOIA terms. Since the city filed the lawsuit, both sides have been trying to reach an agreement, but to no avail.


Baldwin Lake service agreement

The Daily News has obtained a copy of an Aug. 4, 1986, agreement between Greenville and Eureka Township titled “Baldwin Lake Service Area: Operation, Maintenance and Replacement Agreement for a Sanitary Sewer System.”

According to the agreement, both the city and the township were in favor of using the existing operation and maintenance capabilities of the city to service the sanitary sewer facilities in the township — which are connected to the city’s sanitary sewer collection and treatment facilities — in order to reduce costs of operation and maintenance for the sewer systems.

The city agreed to provide maintenance service, as well as metering, billing and collecting to the township’s areas at Baldwin Lake, according to the agreement. This includes routine maintenance, reconstruction and repair of the system located in the township, inspection and cleaning of the sanitary sewers and the operation and maintenance of any main pumping stations as may be required.

Eureka Township customers at Baldwin Lake which are connected to the wastewater system shall be billed by the city as provided by a township ordinance, according to the agreement.

For charges to cover operation, maintenance and replacement of the system at Baldwin Lake, customers shall be charged for services based on actual costs, according to the agreement. The city shall charge for labor, materials and equipment in the same manner as all other funds are charged for said services. The customers at Baldwin Lake shall be charged quarterly an amount to establish an escrow account for such city services, with the initial quarterly charge being $10.

The city agreed to submit quarterly invoices to township residents for charges due, according to the agreement. Township residents are to reimburse the city in accordance with the township’s sewer use and user charge ordinance. If delinquent charges are reassessed upon the township tax roll for non-payment, the township shall reimburse the city for the amount delinquent, including accrued penalties and interest, upon payment of the taxes.

The city agreed to establish and maintain an escrow account in an amount sufficient to allow the city to make payment for labor, materials and supplies provided directly to the Baldwin Lake sewer system, according to the agreement. Funding to maintain the escrow account shall be collected quarterly from customers served by the system. The city shall credit to the escrow account a pro rated amount equal to the cost of maintaining the collection system in the remainder of the city.

According to the agreement, the contracted dated Aug. 4, 1986, shall remain in full force for 10 years and shall be subject to annual review and shall be extended automatically for a one-year period unless renegotiated or terminated.


A closer look

• $7,952.80: Amount Eureka Township has spent in legal fees from December 2012 to August 2013

• $4,775: Amount Greenville has spent in legal fees from December 2012 to August 2013

• $12,737.80: Total spent by both municipalities so far

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